Meet Compressor Emissions and Maximize Site Rated Power Utilization by Conditioning Fuel Gas
In many wet and/or condensate-rich shale-gas plays such as Eagle Ford, Bakken, Niobara, Marcellus, Utica etc, only raw and heavy hydrocarbon rich shale gas is available as fuel for compressor drives and power generation turbines. Burning high BTU condensate-rich fuel gas results in increased emission levels at the compressor facility with operators finding it increasingly challenging to meet the regulatory requirements. In order to remain within the permitted emissions levels of a compressor station, compressors have to be run on substantial de-rates especially for large HP range machines. This paper describes the use of unique reverse-selective membranes which preferentially removes heavy hydrocarbons components from the raw shale-gas to produce clean fuel gas at these compressor sites. Fuel gas analysis and VOC/CO/NOx emissions field site-data for raw and conditioned fuel gas will be presented for the membrane fuel gas conditioning unit installed at Agave Energy’s compressor site. The results indicate 50% reduction in the VOC emissions levels (pre-catalyst basis) of the compressor engines exhaust due to the conditioned fuel gas generated by the membranes. Moreover, compressor engine utilized approximately 10% less hp in compressing the same load with the conditioned fuel gas from the membranes (v/s the raw fuel gas). As a result, approximately 10% of additional compression hp could potentially be utilized to compress more gas and still remain within the max allowable emission levels. Finally, instead of burning the valuable heavy hydrocarbons in the raw fuel gas in the engines, the membranes recover and route them back to the pipeline to be recovered in the downstream NGL plant – the added revenues due to the recovered heavies provided a quick payback time to Agave Energy. Numerous fuel gas conditioning units have been adopted and installed in several shale-gas plays across the country for reducing the heavy contents from the fuel gas & subsequently also meet the
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